Supporters of the troubled entrepreneur John McAfee were shocked to learn that he was found dead in his prison cell this week, after his extradition to authorities in the United States was approved by a court in Spain. McAfee was facing very serious charges of tax evasion after publicly admitting to not filing a tax return while running for president in the US in 2019.
Some supporters are finding it hard to believe that McAfee would take his own life, mostly because he stated on numerous occasions that he would never do such a thing. He even went so far as to get the word “Whacked” tattooed on his arm to signify that if he died, someone probably took him out.
Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: "We're coming for you McAfee! We're going to kill yourself". I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn't. I was whackd. Check my right arm.$WHACKD available only on https://t.co/HdSEYi9krq🙂 pic.twitter.com/rJ0Vi2Hpjj
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 30, 2019
In another now-deleted tweet from 2020, McAfee referenced the infamous Jeffrey Epstein, who died mysteriously while behind bars. Although Epstein’s death was ruled a suicide, many people believe that he was taken out by the many powerful friends who would have been exposed by his testimony.
In his tweet, McAfee said, “Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.”
“I am content in here. I have friends. The food is good. All is well,” he also said at the time.
Many of McAfee’s posts from prison were lighthearted and philosophical, pondering on the sad state of affairs in prison but also finding humor in his situation.
However, many of his posts, especially his recent ones, showed much more frustration with his predicament.
“I’ve been three months in a Spanish prison. If I could choose a place to be, prison would not top my list,” he said. “If lawmakers were required to spend a single day in prison before being allowed to make laws penalties for nonviolent crimes would be drastically less severe,” he said in a recent post.
In the years leading up to his death, McAfee claimed that he was an enemy of the state and members of various governments were out to get him. McAfee was extremely outspoken about his political beliefs and ran for President of the United States under the Libertarian Party Banner in 2016 and 2020.
McAfee was no stranger to controversy, even before his recent charges in the US. In 2012, McAfee went on the run to escape from Belize where he was being investigated in the death of his neighbor. Despite being arrested in Guatamala, he quickly escaped to the US and avoided questioning in the case in Belize and ever since has become more of a public figure.
He founded the software company McAfee Associates in 1987 and ran it until 1994, when he resigned from the company. McAfee Associates was one of the first successful tech companies thanks to creating first commercial antivirus software, and the business now produces a range of enterprise security software. The company was purchased by Intel in 2011, but it still bears the McAfee brand name because it is so well-recognized. McAfee’s wealth peaked in 2007 at $100 million, before his investments sank in the financial crisis of 2007–2008.